Mayor of Shenzhen visits Edinburgh Exchange

Creative business links between China and Edinburgh were strengthened yesterday during a visit by Shenzhen Mayor Mr XU Qin.

Lord Provost Donald Wilson
Pupils from the Confucious Class at Leith Academy, year 3 with Shenzhen Mayor Mr XU Qin (left), Lord Provost Donald Wiilson (centre), and Consul General Pan

The Mayor’s visit to Edinburgh marks the one year anniversary of the Shenzhen Creative Industries Project at the Creative Exchange, which enhances investment, growth and new market opportunities in both cities.

Mayor Mr XU Qin received a tour of the Creative Exchange incubator space before visiting Creative Scotland at Waverley Gate, where he was welcomed by Confucius School pupils from Leith Academy. The visit marked new partnerships between Informatics Ventures at the University of Edinburgh and the Shenzhen Creative Investment Group which promote collaboration in the Edinburgh and Shenzhen tech sectors.

Commenting on the visit, Edinburgh’s Lord Provost, Donald Wilson said: “Welcoming Mayor XU Qin has provided an excellent opportunity for us to showcase all that the Scottish Capital has to offer and to enhance business and cultural relations with Shenzhen.

"The visit marks the first anniversary of the Creative Exchange Incubator space which is already supporting local companies and Chinese businesses looking to expand in Edinburgh.”

The Mayor was also met by Councillor Gavin Barrie, Convener of the Economy Committee. Cllr Barrie added: “Shenzhen is home to many of the same sectors as Edinburgh and the cities have great potential in the creative, design and technology industries. 

"The Edinburgh-Shenzhen Creative Exchange is based on encouraging and supporting investment and opportunities for both cities and is already shaping into a promising partnership. The city’s new venture with the University of Edinburgh will further strengthen our links to Shenzhen and showcase Edinburgh tech companies in China.”

The visit has allowed the Mayor to meet with companies working in the creative and technology sectors, including firms which have been exploring business opportunities in Shenzhen, helping to promote Edinburgh as an international creative centre and support interest in the growth of local businesses into Chinese markets.

Further information

In Shenzhen, a reciprocal International Creative Industries Incubator space encourages creative small to medium sized businesses (SMEs) from Edinburgh to expand overseas and raise their international profile.

Shenzhen has been identified as a target market for investment into Edinburgh’s creative industry and the Lord Provost signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the Vice Mayor in June 2013.

A number of Edinburgh based creative and tech companies have committed to taking desk space at the Incubator in Shenzhen, including a world leader in the manufacture of complete IP video security solutions, Indigovision, and Runrev, creator of LiveCode, the award winning cross platform for deployment engines.


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